Tech executives summoned to meet with Donald Trump in New York Wednesday had reason to suspect they were being lured into a trap. In the run-up to the election, the President-elect clashed with industry bellwethers over such issues as immigration, manufacturing and smartphone security. Many in Silicon Valley’s upper ranks made no secret of their support for Hillary Clinton, some expressing disdain for her opponent. And Trump himself excoriated media executives in a similar summit three weeks ago and has used the bully-Twitter-pulpit in recent weeks to criticize other industries, using 140 characters or less to drag down companies’ stocks.
But concerns that the new administration would similarly use the Trump summit to browbeat big tech evaporated not long after the industry elite made their way through Trump Tower lobby, surrounded by reporters, security and enormous shining Christmas wreaths. Seated at a long conference table, near Facebook’s Sheryl Sandberg, Apple’s Tim Cook, and Amazon’s Jeff Bezos, Trump laid the compliments on thick.